Set your mind to a particular ideology, if you haven’t already done so…”developing your resume is a job”. Now that you know it’s a job, you are aware that developing your resume requires work. As you advance in your career or tailor your resume to meet certain qualifications, the answer is keyword optimization. Keyword optimization is ‘do or die’ for populating on any automatic resume scanner. The answer to finding keywords is readily available within job announcements, job descriptions, and for the federal sector – the application manager questionnaire. It’s not a copy and paste job but rather a research and analysis of the qualified words within the position. For example, lets research and analyze this job description:
Position: Logistics Inventory Technician
Responsibilities (using 3 lines): Create and track status against full system inventory, report status on a weekly basis. Manage hardware preparation, staging and delivery of weapon system components for direct integration with final tactical platform. Receive and issue all acquired and procured weapons system components.
Keywords: track, status report, hardware, staging, weapon system, tactical platform, receive, issue, acquire, and procure.
The keywords do not have to be in the exact format, for example; if you performed the tasks in a past position, track becomes tracked – procure becomes procured and so forth. Another tip for improving your resume is to utilize action verbs. Action verbs make the resume statements or bullets more concise and paint a clear picture of your accomplishments. Also, action verbs are easier for the reader to understand. A few examples of possible action verbs are: Directed, Facilitated, Strengthened, Streamlined, Expanded, Delivered, or Reduced. Hiring managers love candidates who can effectively tell a story about their accomplishments!
The last tip I would like to share is…. your resume is not about what you should have done (according to your title), what you’re supposed to do or what the company says you can do, but rather what you have accomplished. With that being said, stay far away from using the phrases: responsible for – or – possess the ability to -or- has the ability to. These types of phrases are unclear and readers are not really sure if you have performed the tasks or not. Use these tips and determine if you need to rework your resume.